Hispanic Studies’ Student Focus, May 2018

Ana Camila Bailey, a double major in Spanish and Communication ’18, is a member of Global Scholars, Delta Gamma Sorority, and she is an Operations Assistant for the tech startup Casa.  She has also served the Department of Hispanic Studies as a Spanish conversation peer instructor, and she studied abroad twice: in Lisbon, Portugal in fall 2016, and in Córdoba, Argentina during the summer of 2017.  She also worked as a Marketing Intern for Bedkin and Sycer in 2017.

In Camila’s own words:

I attribute so much of my growth as a student to the Hispanic studies department at CofC. The Spanish major is made up of rigorous courses that focus on literature, language, and culture and has shaped my knowledge of the Hispanic world while improving my language and writing skills both in Spanish as well as English. The professors in the department push their students to go beyond merely learning the material, to instead develop a genuine understanding that can be applied to both past and present real world situations. My experience in the Hispanic studies department has re-inspired my love of the language and has given me the drive and confidence to continue this practice in future endeavors. 

Hispanic Studies’ Student Focus, April 2018

Le’ah Griggs, a double major in Music Theory/Composition and Spanish ’18, is a member of the College of Charleston’s Concert Choir, the Latin American Ensemble Otro Sur, the Spanish Club, and she serves as Librarian-Student Team Leader for Addlestone Library.  She has also served as the Assistant Director of the Children’s Choir at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, and she is a private piano instructor.  Le’ah spent her spring 2017 semester studying abroad in the College of Charleston’s program in Trujillo, Spain, with support from the Jean and Tap Johnson Study Abroad Award courtesy of the School of the Arts.

In Le’ah’s own words:

The Spanish language and Hispanic studies department at the College of Charleston is a close-knit, engaging, and welcoming community that I am proud to be a part of. Thanks to the dedicated professors and rigorous course work offered by this department, I have drastically improved my Spanish language skills, broadened my knowledge of Hispanic culture on a global scale, and have grown immensely as a person. The most rewarding experience I have gained as a student of Hispanic studies comes from my time abroad in Trujillo, Spain. So much so in fact, that after graduation this Spring, I will be returning to Spain to pursue a Masters in Teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language at the University of Alcalá where I have received a full scholarship. I plan to be a music teacher in a Spanish language immersion school in the future.  

Hispanic Studies’ Student Focus, March 2018

Katherine Murchison, double-major in Spanish and International Studies and a minor in Business Administration ’18, is a student of the Honors College, a Harry and Reba Huge Scholar, a William Aiken Fellow, and a CofC International Scholar.  She is currently a member of the S.C. Student Legislature, and she has also served as Student Ambassador for the Alumni Association and as an Ambassador of the Center for International Education, among other activities. She has also studied abroad in Argentina and India.  Currently she works as a Securities Fraud Assistant with Motley Rice LLC in Mt. Pleasant.

In Katherine’s own words:

I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to engage with the Spanish language and Hispanic culture so deeply as a student in the Hispanic Studies Department here at the College. One of my most enlightening experiences was a result of my SPAN 400 Service Learning course where I served as an administrative assistant at the Catholic Charities Office of Immigration Services for an entire semester. I loved my work so much that I continued volunteering throughout the summer. This past November, I was offered a fully-funded scholarship to Washington University School of Law where I hope to matriculate and serve as an immigration attorney committed to serving my Hispanic community.

Essay Co-Authored by Dr. Pérez-Núñez and Student Bethany Blamphin to Appear in _Southern Journal of Linguistics_

The article Intercultural Competence in the Language Classroom: What Do Foreign Language Teachers Actually Do?” co-authored by Professor Antonio Pérez-Núñez and student Bethany Blamphin has been accepted for publication in the Southern Journal of Linguistics.

Jessica Latham, Spanish ’12, Receives 2018 SCFLTA Teacher of the Year Award

Jessica Latham, Spanish ’12, has been awarded the 2018 Teacher of the Year Award by the South Carolina Foreign Language Teachers’ Association.  Jessica graduated magna cum laude from the College of Charleston with a major in Spanish and minors in both Secondary Education and Russian Studies.  She was also a Fulbright Scholar at Moscow State University in the summer of 2014, and she earned her M.A. in Applied Linguistics from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2016.  Currently, she is a faculty member of both Spanish and Russian languages at Lexington High School (Lexington, SC / Lexington School District One) where she teaches Spanish 1, 2, 3 and 3 honors, and Russian 1 honors, 2 honors, and 3 honors.  Beyond the classroom, she is Lexington High School’s Sponsor of the Russian Club and the SLAVA International Honors Society, among other distinguished professional activities.

CofC’s Nu Zeta Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi Named Honor Chapter for 7th Consecutive Year

The Nu Zeta Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, was among 12 of the 613 chapters of Sigma Delta Pi nationwide to receive the Honor Chapter award for outstanding activities executed during the 2016-17 academic year.  This was the 7th consecutive year that the College of Charleston received this prestigious recognition, to coincide with the chapter’s 40th anniversary (1977-2017).  Drs. Susan Divine and Carmen Grace of Hispanic Studies are Nu Zeta’s chapter advisers, and along with past student chapter president Maya Novák-Cogdell, they were instrumental for this national recognition.

Steven Kramer, Spanish 2014, Accepted into Graduate Program in Linguistics at UNC-Chapel Hill

Steven Kramer, double major in International Business and Spanish with a minor in German (CofC ’14), will begin the MA program in linguistics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in fall 2017.

Student Maya Novák-Cogdell Selected to Present in Sigma Delta Pi’s 5th Annual “Best Practices” Session

Maya Novák-Cogdell, student president of the College of Charleston’s Nu Zeta Chapter of Sigma Delta Pi, the National Collegiate Hispanic Honor Society, has been selected to present in Sigma Delta Pi’s national “Best Practices Session” to be held during the 99th Conference of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese from July 6-9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.

Summer ’16 Student Spotlight

Summer 2016 was an exciting time for the students of LCWA!

Aisha Gallion, double majoring in African American Studies and Anthropology, participated in the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (MURAP) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This program is a graduate-level research experience for highly talented undergraduate students from diverse backgrounds who are interested in pursuing doctorates in the humanities, social sciences or fine arts. Each summer MURAP selects 20 rising juniors and seniors in college to participate in their intensive, ten-week research experience. Aisha decided to research authenticity and masculinity in hip-hop beefs. She specifically, focused on the recent Drake and Meek Mill beef. Aisha submitted a paper titled, “Gettin’ Bodied by a Singin’ Nigga: What’s Really Real? Questioning Authenticity and Masculinity in the Drake and Meek Mill Beef”.  She also presented her work to her cohort and other mentors (professors at UNC Chapel Hill).

Eden Katz, an International Studies and Public Health major, lived in Kampala, Uganda, on a Fulbright Scholarship while continuing to research her bachelor’s essay on early and forced marriage in conflict zones.

Hannah James, double majoring in Anthropology and Archeology, spent four weeks in residence at James Madison’s Montpelier, participating in an archaeological excavation. During this time, she was trained in various lab procedures and excavation methods, in part under the tutelage of Kristina Poston (BS Anthropology, Archaeology minor ’10). The focus for the season included the South Yard of the property, which housed the domestic enslaved individuals until the mid-19th century. The excavation was necessary in order to confirm evidence of a supposed structure and to understand its function and construction materials. The team gathered evidence on what life was like for the enslaved individuals living or working in the structure, and more broadly how that information tied into the lives of those living at Montpelier Plantation. Hannah reports that ‘I was given so many opportunities to excavate everything from brick foundations to delicate and fragile artifacts, trained in both lab and field techniques by some of the brightest minds in the discipline. It was truly a joy to spend a portion of my summer with Montpelier.’

Jonah Crisanti, a French Major and Archaeology minor, spent the summer in southern France, taking part in several excavations dating to the Paleolithic period. The experiences were arranged in collaboration with Evelyne Cregut-Bonnoure, Director of the Musée d’Histoire naturelle d’Avignon, and Drs. Bourdier (French) and Newhard (Archaeology). As a result of these experiences, Jonah developed not only a deep understanding of archaeological methods but also gained experience in the subtle intricacies of working and living within French society. He worked on two prehistoric cave-sites.  The first, Tautavel, dated to 500 kya and focused upon exploring human and animal interactions. The second, Coulet des Roches, focused strictly on understanding the faunal record of the Palaeolithic circa 22 kya. Jonah reports that ‘On any given day, one was expected to dig, sift sediments, clean and mark findings, enter data in the computer, or cook for what was sometimes upwards of 30 people.  Over the course of these internships, the chance to work overseas in a professional setting has been priceless.’

Melaina Castengera, an International Business major minoring in European Studies and German Studies, participated in the Department of German and Russian Studies’ internship program. She found a role for herself with global fragrances firm Symrise where she’s engaged in a variety of duties from financial business planning to technical marketing for aroma molecules. “I’ve been consolidating the company’s competitor profiles,” explains Castengera, “and I have participated in an audit with a Japanese pharmaceuticals client as well. I attend meetings with the technical marketing manager where discussions are held in German regarding the portfolio of products, the planning process and strategies.” Castengera says she sought this internship as a way of distinguishing herself from her peers. “So far, this has been one of the most educational experiences of my college career.”

Morgan Larimer, double majoring in International Studies and Biology as well as minoring in Enviromental Studies, has been awarded the prestigious Rotary Scholarship. After she graduates in May 2017 she will attend King’s College London for an MS. This is the 10th National Competitive Award that members of the International Scholars have received.

Rachel Taylor, an International Studies and Political Science major with a minor in Spanish, lived and studied in Mexico through the Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Program mentoring local youth.

Sherwan Saraf, an International Studies Major and German Minor, received an internship with Mercedes Benz Vans upon returning from a semester in Bamberg Germany.